What does "Licensed and Bonded" Mean?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was established as a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and assists the government in regulating the industry. It requires that auto transport companies such as brokers are licensed with them. (See Our Page on the FMCSA)

This licensing is required by law to facilitate auto transport services. This license will grant "operating authority" or "permission" on behalf of the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) to run a freight truck or company. The Motor Carrier Number itself is issued by the D.O.T. Established by Congress on October 15, 1966, the D.O.T. is responsible for all highway, air, railroad, and maritime transportation.

Bonding refers to the BMC-84 Freight Broker Bond which is a bond that insures against non-payment to carriers contracted to ship a vehicle under the auto transport company. It is a common misconception that this bond is meant to protect customers. It's only meant to protect carriers from not being paid for shipping cars on behalf of a third parties, such as a dealership or auto transport broker.

The FMCSA offers a database of information that details insurance, licensing and bonding information to assist the public. To confirm an MC (motor carrier number) visit